Oliver Rowland has been announced at DAMS for the upcoming GP2 season alongside Nicholas Latifi, who competed for the French team in 2016.
The 24-year-old driver will contest his second full campaign in Formula 1’s feeder series, having made his debut with MP Motorsport at Silverstone in 2015 where he took a double points finish before participating in his first full season in 2016.
The Englishman was considered to be an early title contender with a handful of podium finishes in 2016, although his maiden victory in the series still remains elusive.
With DAMS a proven winner in the past, Rowland hopes that 2017 will see him prove his worth as he aims to graduate to Formula 1.
“The overall aim is to go and dominate the championship, that’s my personal target and is shared by the team,” said Rowland.
“DAMS have won championships in previous years with Valsecchi, Grosjean and Palmer, so I’m coming to an outfit with a lot of pedigree and I’ll have to make sure I’m at the top of my game.
“Last year was my first year and with the tyres it was sometimes difficult, but there were lots of positives and I had some good results. Going into this year, I’ve got a lot better with my approach going into each race, so I’m looking forward to putting it into place.
“Everyone has been great so far and I’m excited to working with Nicholas to push the team forward.”
On the other side of the garage, Latifi will also start his second full campaign in the series, having joined DAMS last season.
The Canadian immediately impressed with a second place finish in the opening round at Barcelona, but results were few and far between after that, with Latifi slipping down to 16th in the standings with only three other point-scoring finishes.
With a year of experience now under his belt, the 21-year-old now aims for a more consistent season and a higher placing in the championship.
“Our big goal is to be consistently running at the front and having a better result in the championship than we did last year,” said Latifi.
“I’m really happy to be in this team for the second season in a row, because I already have an established working relationship with everybody. That will help me a lot, especially as you don’t get a lot of track time in GP2 and you’re always having to adapt to the conditions.
“I know where we have to improve and the team knows where I have to as well. I’ve already made my first visit to the workshop this year and everyone is extremely motivated. There’s definitely a really positive feeling in the team about the upcoming season.”
Team founder Jean-Paul Driot believes that the new line-up of Rowland and Latifi will be a force to be reckoned with as he aims to regain both championship titles.
“We are delighted to continue our partnership with Nicholas for a second season. He demonstrated his pace during his first full season in GP2, especially during qualifying, but we lacked a bit of understanding of tyre management and this cost us a bit for race results.
“Nicholas works exceptionally hard and we can count on his motivation to transform the potential we have seen into tangible results.
“We have followed Oliver’s performances with great interest for a long time and he was a fierce competitor in Formula Renault 3.5, so we are very aware of his talent and excited to see what he can do in one of our cars.
“For Oliver and Nicholas, this season will be their second in GP2, so our ambition is absolutely to fight for the Teams’ and Drivers’ titles.”
DAMS are the fourth team to announce their full GP2 line up for 2017, with Prema Racing, Racing Engineering and Pertamina Arden all locked down. ART Grand Prix and MP Motorsport have both signed one driver each.